COMING TO GET INKED?
Whether you're a first-timer heading to your very first session or a veteran looking for a refresher, here's what you need to know!
1.1 - TATTOO BASICS
WHAT IS A TATTOO?
A tattoo is a form of body modification where ink is deliberately put beneath the second and third layer of skin using needles to create images.
How does the ink get there?
As the needle exits the skin, it creates a vacuum effect that pulls ink into the tattoo site.
Does it hurt?
It certainly doesn't feel like sunshine and rainbows! (Unless you're wild, but it's cool.) Fortunately, most people believe that it's more irritating than painful, like a cat scratch or being rubbed with sandpaper.
1.2 - TATTOO BASICS
WHAT TATTOO SHOULD I GET?
Whatever you like. Really, it's that simple.
Some people feel that it's important to get meaningful tattoos; some people just want something pretty, or something powerful (or pretty and powerful)!
The right answer is something you can only decide for yourself.
But when people don't know what they want, they have a habit of asking the artist to decide for them. Wrong! Artists can guide you, but they won't choose for you. You can't force that responsibility on your artist. Tattoos are permanent; be decisive and responsible for your own skin.
2.1 YOUR FIRST TATTOO
THE WEEK BEFORE
If you have time--and for the best results--preparations should begin the week prior!
Start drinking lots of water! Aim for the recommended 8 glasses of water per day. It takes a while for water to do its job and properly hydrate your skin, so it's important to start the process well in advance.
If you notice any surface dryness, roughness, or itchiness, apply a gentle lotion and rub in completely.
Keeping your skin hydrated means your tattoo will heal better and look better. Oh, and it'll hurt less, too!
2.2 YOUR FIRST TATTOO
THE NIGHT BEFORE
Do not drink alcohol!
Alcohol stays in your system longer than it takes for you to sober up. Not only is alcohol a diuretic--makes you lose water, and thus hydration--it makes you more sensitive to pain.
Getting a tattoo while hung over is like getting a massage from a demon with spikes for hands, so you gotta be sober until it's over! Take it easy the day before, and save the drinks for celebrating later.
Just make sure you get a good night's sleep, and you'll be golden.
2.3 YOUR FIRST TATTOO
Eat well! The most important part of the day is making sure you eat a big, hearty, nutritious meal prior to coming in. Bring a drink and a snack to the shop with you just in case.
Coming in hungry can cause a whole litany of complications, so don't skip your meals! Tattooing is a stressful process, and your body needs fuel to weather the storm.
Drink water, and go easy on the caffeine!
Finally, make sure you wear comfortable clothing that gives your artist easy access to the place you want to get tattooed.
2.3 YOUR FIRST TATTOO
DURING YOUR TATTOO
Tattoos take time to complete. Depending on how big your piece is, you may be in the chair for a few minutes to a few hours. It's important to stay still the entire time--fidgeting or fiddling with your phone can move your entire body and make it more difficult for your artist to work.
Communicate with your artist about how you're feeling. Getting a tattoo
isn't a strongman competition--if you feel like you need to stop for a moment, or readjust your position, speak up! We care about your wellbeing and we want you to have a positive experience.